Call for transparency and assessment of services
negotiations in the WTO by more than 90 civil society groups
Friends of the Earth Europe, press release 7 May 2019
For immediate release
Today more than 90 civil society groups from across the EU,
including from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France,
Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden and the UK have sent an open letter to European Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy and members of
the Committee 133, the EU member states body dealing with trade
negotiations. In the letter groups call for complete transparency
and an assessment of the on-going services negotiations in the
World Trade Organisation (WTO).
The open letter has been sent following the leak of draft EU
requests two weeks ago, which demand that specific countries
increase their services liberalisation commitments in a whole
range of sectors. The range of sectors included in these
proposals raises concerns about the social, economic,
environmental and developmental threats of the services
Groups criticise in the letter that despite the fact that the
services negotiations will have profound implications for
citizens everywhere, "this process has so far been undertaken
entirely by the European Commission and the Committee 133 under
conditions of total opacity". Groups state "We refuse to be
confronted with a fait accompli".
Specifically, the groups demand that all EU requests in the WTO
will be published on the website of the EU by 30 May and that a
transparent process of negotiations will be institutionalised.
Furthermore the group ask that negotiations will not proceed
before a full evaluation and impact assessment of the
consequences of the current or proposed GATS obligations will be
Read the full text of the letter.
Contact: Alexandra Wandel, Friends of the Earth Europe,
tel: +32-(0)2-5420185, +32-(0)497-725341